Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 23, 2018 – Year B
Readings: Wis 2:12, 17-20 / Ps 54 / Jas 3:16-4:3 / Mk 9:30-37
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
At 9:54 last night, we officially began the season of Fall. In just a few days we will begin seeing the beauty of God’s creation here and in the glorious mountain area. The different colors of leaves will remind us that our God is indeed almighty.
We know that leaves don’t change colors during autumn. Because of the change in temperature, the lack of sunshine, and other environmental factors, the leaves are no longer able to produce chlorophyll, which gives them their green color. Because of this seeming deficiency, the leaves will be showing their true colors, as the Lord God created them to be, and they are beautiful.
In the gospel that we have just heard, St. Mark the Evangelist related to us the story of the disciples’ remaining silent when the Lord Jesus asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” They were discussing among themselves which one of them was the greatest.
The Lord Jesus is God – He knows everything. He could read their minds, and He can read ours. When they sat down, He told them how they should show their greatness and their true colors.
Being considered great in the eyes of the world was not who they were. They were all created in the likeness and image of God. They, and all of us gathered here today, were born to love and to serve. It is not surprising that whenever there is a calamity or a disaster, people from all over will come to help. And this is who we are; we have this basic desire to love and to serve.
Not too long ago, I visited a friend in a rehab facility. Since she is already advanced in years, she knows that she may no longer be of help to her family, her friends, her community, or her Church. As she was talking, we could hear the voice of the patient in the next room crying out in pain.
She said, “I have been praying for that man wailing in the other room. Although his crying wakes me up at night, and I am in pain myself, somehow when I focus my prayers on his needs and those of the other patients, I feel better. The pain in my leg is still there, but I don’t suffer so much.” On behalf of our Holy Mother Church, I thanked her and gave her assurance that although she may not be able to go from one place to another, to be of help to her family, friends, or Church, in silence she is doing a very important ministry right there in her room. Prayer knows no bounds. Its power is beyond compare.
For months now, I have been offering prayers and sacrifice for the daughter of a couple who are good friends of mine. She has been in trouble with the law in another state and has been going in and out of jail. At the moment she is out of jail, and with the Lord’s help, I pray that it will be for good. A few days ago her mother told me that she was able to talk with the elderly woman with whom she is living right now. This woman told her that her daughter is the kindest and sweetest person she has ever met – the same person who has been in trouble with the law. But now she is showing her true colors. This is who she truly is.
With all the bad news in the newspapers, TV, radio, social media and other news sources, the wonderful reality is that human beings are, by nature, good. The Lord God will aid us to be so. As we see the leaves showing us their original colors in the season of Fall, let us ask the Lord God, with the help of His grace, that we are able to do the same, because as sons and daughter of God, we are all born to love and to serve.